Looking to replace an old LCD panel (or even, horrors, a tube) with something new, modern, and feature-packed? Ah, who are we kidding, "feature-packed" is code for "not in my budget."
It might be today. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon has the VIZIO E3D470VX 47-inch LCD HDTV for $598 shipped. When it comes to features, this model's about as packed as they come.
For starters, it's a 3D TV, one that relies on lightweight passive glasses rather than expensive, inconvenient active-shutter glasses. Vizio supplies two pairs, but you can expand your collection by bringing home the specs they hand out at the movie theater. (You paid for them; you're allowed to keep them.) I have a passive-tech 3D TV, and it works great.
The E3D470VX is also an Internet-savvy TV, with built-in Wi-Fi and Vizio's impressive app collection, which includes Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, Pandora, Flickr, and loads more. Roku box? Who needs a Roku box?
Another sweet perk: Vizio's remote has a QWERTY keyboard on its backside, making it infinitely easier to enter search terms, update your status (Facebook and Twitter are among the available apps), and the like.
This is a 120Hz LCD with four HDMI inputs and two USB ports (suitable for listening to MP3s or viewing JPEG photos). I think my sole complaint is that it's not LED-backlit.
Speaking of complaints, CNET had a few, most notably the E3D470VX's 2D picture quality. However, more than 300 Amazon buyers rated the TV 4.3 stars out of 5 on average. At Wal-Mart, it earned 4.5 stars (again out of 5) from 235 users.
I'm not saying you shouldn't weigh the CNET reviewer's opinion, which was informed by extensive testing, but merely that the vast majority of real-world owners of this TV really, really like it.
Based on the specs alone, there's obviously a lot to like here. I have a smaller Vizio TV with the same built-in Wi-Fi and apps, and I find the picture quality to be above average. If you're looking for a spacious screen with lots of goodies, this deal is hard to beat.
Bonus deal: While you're there (at Amazon, that is), you might want to grab a 3D-capable Blu-ray player so you can enjoy "Despicable Me" (best movie ever) on your new 3D-capable TV. Amazon has the Panasonic Viera DMP-BDT220 3D Blu-ray player for $112.98 shipped -- including a $25 Amazon credit good for anything the company sells. Like the TV, the player has built-in Wi-Fi and a nice assortment of apps.
Bonus deal No. 2: Not interested in 3D this or 3D that? For those who missed out on it last time, Ben's Outlet has the Livio Bluetooth Internet radio car kit for $34.99 shipped. It's new, not refurbished, and it sells elsewhere for nearly twice the price. Plug this gooseneck gizmo into your cigarette lighter, pair it with your smartphone, then stream music, make hands-free calls, and so on. Awesome.
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